Essence of Brahmanda Purana


Essence Of
Brahmanda Purana


5    Agni Vamsha, Profile of Pitras, Sati’s self-immolation and Daksha Yagna destroyed

Agni is one of the beloved ‘Manasa Putras’of Brahma Deva. He married Daksha Putri Devi Swaha and their sons were Pavamana, Shuchi and Pavaka. Pavamana (Garhapatyagni) is created as a result of ‘Arani’ or churning, Pavaka (Dakshinaagni) is devised by Vidyut or  lightning and Shuchi (Ahavaniya) is based on the Solar source or from Surya- hence called Souraagni. Pavamaahana’s son was Kavyavahana meant for Pitras; Pavakas’s son is Saharaksha and that category of Agni is relevant to Raakshasaas; and Shuchi’s Agni is called Havyavahana meant for Devas. Brahma’s elder son was Brahmadattaagni who bestowed Loukikaagni to the world and Brahamadattaagni’s son was Vaishwaanara; he carried Havya to Devas for long and merged it in Pushkara Samudra; that Loukikaagni was secured by one Adhravana and subsequently came to be known as Adharvanaagni.

 From the lineage of Adharvana came Samsya and Shuka. Samsya had two sons viz. Savya and Apasavya. Samsya was celebrated by the posterity of Brahmanas and to keep his memory everlasting merged ‘Aavaniyaagni’ in the waters of sixteen rivers so that the following generations of Brahmanas could invoke that Agni from the River waters to perform Yagnas on the banks of the select sixteen rivers of Bharat viz. Kaveri, Krishnaveni, Narmada, Yamuna, Godavari, Vitasta, Chandrabhaga, Iravati, Vipasha, Kousiki, Shatadru, Sarayu, Sita, Sarasvati, Hraadini and Paavani. The illustrious Samsya established Agni Dhaamas called Dhishnas and those who maintained the Dhaamaas came to bo be known as Dhishnas too. Their generations classified some of the Agni Karyas as ‘Upastheyaas’ or those which could be retained such as Vibhu, Pravaahana, Anirgha etc and some others as ‘Parityaktavyas’or discardable. In addition, a few were added to the list of Upastheyas since such Agni Karyaas were ‘Anirdeshyas’or unforeseen and ‘Anivaryaas’ or inevitable. For eg. Vaasavi Agni is practised in some of the Vedis in Northern Parts of Bharata; this Vasavi has eight branches viz. Barhisha (Hotriya Agni Havya vaahana), Pracheta (Samsahaayaka), Vishwadeva             ( Brahamanachhaamsi), Avabhrutaagni originating from Varuna; Hradayaagni or Jatharaagni relevant to food items, Badabaagni emerging from deep Seas, and the most popular Saharakshaagni for the fulfillment of House-holders or Grihastis.

Apart from the above, there are other Agni Karyas such as Rakshognis for Raksha/Kavacha or Shields , Kaamaagnis for fulfillment of specific wishes, and so on. There also are Agni titled Surabhi, Vasuratna, Naada, Haryaswa,  Rukmavaan, Pravagya, and Kshemavan –all the progeny os Shuchi Deva. Needless to mention Abhicharika Agni Karyas of negative nature with the objective of harming others to benefit the Kartas. Thus there are Agni Karyaas of various nature: Nitya, Naimittika, Kaamya, Prayaschaattika, Abhicharika, and Daivika.

Srishti of Pitaras: After creating Devas, Asuras and Human Beings, a satisified Brahma desired to create Pitaras and recalled the Veda Sukta: Rutavah Pitaro Devaah (Srishti should include Rithus-Pitras-Devas) and thus created Pitras from his flanks; they were of two categories viz. ‘Agnishvaattaas’ and ‘Barhishads’. The former type were neither ‘Grihastis’ nor performers of Yajnas.The obvious preference was to create ‘Barhishads’ who were ‘Ahitaagnis’and also Soma sevakaas. As regards ‘Rithus’ or Seasons, Chaitra and Vaisakha Months are oriented to Rasa or the Juice of Life; Jyeshtha and Ashadha are prone to Shringara or Love; Shravana and Bhadrapada are disposed to Jeeva or Activity and Alacrity; Ashviyuja and Kartika lean towards ‘Swadhaatwa ’ or other-wordliness and penance; Margasirsha and Pushyami are not helpful while Maagha and Phalguna are conducive for introspection and Tapasya. [Thus the pairs of the months aforementiond are known as Ritus or Seasons viz. Vasanta (April-May), Greeshma (May-June), Varsha (July-Aug), Sharat (Sept-Oct), Hemanta (Nov-Dec) and Sishira (Jan-Feb)]. The identification of Ritus is a per the calculation of Kaala or Time viz. Nimesha-Kala-Kaashtha-Muhurtha-Day-Night-Tithi-Paksha-Maasa-Rithu or Two Maasaas- Ayana or Three Ritus viz. Uttaraayana and Dakshinaayana and Samvatsara orYear. As Brahma was the Creator of Ritus, Ritu Putraas are Human Beings, Quadrupeds, Birds, Reptiles and Trees and all these species are subject to ‘Artavaa Lakshanaas’ ie Ritu Dharmas or Seasonal changes. For eg, women are subject to Rajasa Pravritti or menstruation. Similarly Nature, Trees, Creepers, Flowers, Fruits, Crops, Rains, Summer-Winter changes are all subject to Seasonal Changes in every year.  Such ‘Artavaas’ or Seasonal changes are considered as fathers, the Ritus are to be considered as  a grand-father  and  each Samvatsara is considered as a great-grand father; this indeed is the subtle connection of Ritus and Pitras!  Hence the inter-connection of Seasonal  Changes brought about by Kaala or Time with Pitaras is proved significantly.

Devi Swadha and Pitras had two daughters viz. Mena and Dharani; both of them were Maha Yoginis. Pitaras as stated earlier were  Agnishwaats and Barhisdhads; Mena was the Manasika  Putri of Agnishwaats and Dharani was the Manasika Putri of Barhidshads.  Mena was wedded to Himavan and they begot Mainaka and Ganga; Mainaka’s son was Krauncha in whose name Krauncha Dwipa was set up. Ganga was married to Lavanodadhi. Dharani the daughter of Barhishads wedded Meru and they gave birth to Mandara with Divya Auoshadhis and also three daughters named Vela, Niyati and Ayati. Ayati maried Dhata and Niyati wedded Vidhatra while Vela or Sea shore wedded Sagara (Ocean).The couple of Vela and Samudra gave birth to Suvarna and the latter who wedded Prachinbarhi gave birth to ten sons and they were called Pachetasas who were champions of Dhanurvidya.

The ten Prachetasas were the father-figures of Daksha who was cursed by Traimbika in the Chakshsa Manvantara. The origin of the curse was as follows: Among the daughters of Daksha, the eldest was Sati Devi who was wedded to Rudra; but Rudra never bowed his head to Daksha the father in law since Rudra never bent to any body. Daksha took it to his heart and started ignoring Sati and of course Rudra. He invited to his house all the younger sisters of Sati along with their husbands like Vasishtha, Atri, Bhrigu, Kratu, Maricha and so on. As the was singled out, Sati felt humiliated and said: Asatkrutya Pitarmaam twam krutavaanasi garhitam, Aham jyeshthaa varishthaa cha twam maam satkurta mayi si/  ( Father! You have dishonoured me and it does not behove of you to have done this as I am your eldest daughter). Daksha replied that these daughters of mine are far superior to you and their husbands are well versed in Vedas, Yogis and excellently behaved unlike your husband Rudra who is arrogant and highly self-opinionated and thus there is no comparison between you and other daughters of mine! Sati Devi  replied:

Vangmanahkarmabhiryasma –adadrushtam maam vigarhasey,

Tasmaattyajaamyahamimam deham taata tavaatmajam/

Yatraahamapupadye cha punardehena bhaswataa,

Tatraapyahamasambhutaa Sambhutaa dhaarmikaadapi/

Gaccheyam Dharma patneetwam Traiyambakasyaiwa Dheematatah,

Tatraivaatha samaaseenaa yuktaatmaanam samaadadhey/

Dharanaamaasa chaagneyeem dharanmaam manasaatmanah,

Tatah Atmasamyutthosya Vaayuna samudiritah,

Sarvegebhoy vinihsrutya Vahnistwaamk bhasmasaatkarot/

(Since you have harassed me verbally, mentally and physically although I possess no such defects, I am leaving this body you gave me. Whenever I shall be born again with a lustrous body as Ayonija or otherwise, I will again indeed be the wife of Lord Traimbaka only. By so saying, Devi Sati sat in a yogic posture and united her soul to Paramatma and as she resorted to Agneya Dharana she let her physical limbs burn off  by fire which got turned into ash). Suladhaari heard about the incident and was infuriated with Daksha and the Maharshis who were praised by Daksha. Rudra Deva shouted on Daksha that due to his hatred for Rudra, Sati was insulted and immolated herself; that was why in the beginning of the next Vaivaswata Manvantara, Daksha would be reborn as a King as the son of Prachetasaas as  Daksha again and would seek to perform one Yajna which would be totally destroyed by Rudra. Daksha gave a return curse to Rudra that since the Rishis who were his sons-in-law were also involved in Rudra’s curse, they would not agree to provide ‘havis’ in Daksha’s future yagna to Rudra as per the established  practice. Rudra had the last word saying that as soon as the Rishis would touch the Pavitra Jala at the future yagna, they would not only lose their status to worship Rudra again and also would not have access to Swarga and would have to stay in Bhuloka itself till the end of Satya Yuga. Indeed as per the mutual curses, the subsequent birth of Daksha took place as the son of Prachetasaas again as a King decided to perform another Yagna which was destroyed by Rudra and the Maharshis like Bhrigu who assumed roles in that Yagna lost their access to Swarga and worse still they could not worship Rudra till the end of SatyaYuga.

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